Mount Baker’s softball team saw its season end after losing 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning against La Center in the Class 1A State Tournament Friday, May 29, at Columbia Playfields in Richland.
The Mountaineers jumped to a 4-3 lead after three innings of play. But La Center came back to outscore Mount Baker 4-3 in the final four innings, including the game-winning run.
“You get to this point and it doesn’t feel good now. But it just wasn’t our day,” Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said in a phone interview.
Mount Baker was able to knock 17 hits against La Center, who were able to get 16 hits, in a hitting duel. But the Wildcats were able to make one more play than the Mountaineers.
The lead-off batter hit a single and stole second base. Then a single into right field was enough to move the runner around as the throw wasn’t able to prevent the winning run.
Aleks Toivola went 4 for 4 with an RBI, Jordan Miles went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI and Kaylea Sleveland went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI to lead Mount Baker at the plate.
“I’m really proud of the effort,” Lepper said. “We just weren’t able to capitalize.”
In the first game of the day, a rematch of last year’s state championship game, Mount Baker fell victim to a big second inning by Elma to go down 6-0 early and couldn’t catch up in a 6-4 loss.
Mount Baker was able to get eight hits in the game, but never found the holes in the field or the opportunities gain the lead for good.
“In the first game we hit the ball hard. But right at people. It’s going to happen in the game,” Lepper said. “Elma put a big inning up. It didn’t happen for us.”
The Mountaineers were able to rebound in the second game of the state tournament against Zillah. The team was able to get 11 hits and got out to an 10-1 lead after four innings.
Miles led the team at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Lacey Postlewait went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base and Sleveland also went 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI.
In the final game with the season on the line, the Mountaineers played aggressive and had their chances, but couldn’t put it together for the win.
“We had bases loaded and couldn’t score at one point,” Lepper said. “There was another chance where our runner was thrown out at home from third (base). It jsut wasn’t our day. The girls competed.”
With the loss, Mount Baker loses three seniors to graduation: Toivola, Emily Yost and Postlewait.
“I just want to say how proud we are of our seniors and all the work they have done in the last four years,” Lepper said. “They made a big impact on Baker softball and set a standard going forward.”
Mount Baker has made the state championships in three of the four years the three seniors have been on the team. Including last year’s 6-1 loss against Elma.
Elma 6, Mount Baker 4
WP: Cooper. LP: Aleks Toivola. Highlights: Mount Baker: Emily Yost 2-3, 2 RBI; Kaylea Sleveland 1-3, 3B, RBI.
Mount Baker 12, Zillah 1
WP: Aleks Toivola. LP: True. Highlights: Mount Baker: Lacey Postlewait 3-4, RBI, SB; Jordan Miles 3-4, 2 RBI, SB; Kaylea Sleveland 2-3, 3B, RBI.
La Center 7, Mount Baker 6
WP: England. LP: Aleks Toivola. Highlights: Mount Baker: Aleks Toivola 4-4, RBI; Jordan Miles 3-4, 2B; Lacey Postlewait 2-5, RBI; Sara Verry 2-4, RBI.